At the base of big changes, there are often a myriad of small little steps. Changing our habits may appear overwhelming at the beginning, but it is just a matter of commitment and effort to reach the big goal of reducing our collective impact in the environment. Here you will find some ideas on how to reduce waste and CO2 emissions in your household as well as tips on reducing your bills!
1 – Turn the lights off when you don’t need it
This is a very simple and easy tip to apply. It is estimated that switching the lights off in your home can make you save up to 10% on your energy bill.
So, you’ll be much greener and much smarter at the same time!
2 – Recycle! Differentiate your waste
Differentiating your waste into different bins helps in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and gives many materials a new life through reuse and recycle. Some councils around Sydney offer various bins to help you differentiate your organic waste, recyclables items and general rubbish – check what’s happening in yours! You can also join the ShareWaste community to connect with people in your neighbourhoods giving or receiving organic wastes for their compost for instance!
3 – Think before buying
Do you really need what you are going to buy? Is there another option more considerate of the environment? Sometimes we have the feeling to be happier when we buy new stuff but it actually lasts for a very short time. Collect moments instead of goods!
4 – Give a second life to your clothes! Donate!
Do you have lots of clothes you don’t wear anymore? Some items laying around the house with no purpose? They may be used by people who actually need it! Vinnies and Salvos are examples of charity shops, they accept clothes, homewares, books, towels, sheets, or furniture items you don’t need anymore. Also, you can put your old garments in one of the many charity bins that you can find near your local supermarkets, libraries… check with your council! In addition, H&M shops accept your old clothes – in any condition – and offer a discount voucher on the next purchase!!
5 – Wash with a cold cycle and avoid dryer
Washing your clothes using a cold cycle can make you save more than 80% of costs. Air-drying your clothes can reduce your carbon footprint of more than 1,000 kg of Co2. Make the difference!
6 – Turn the tap off, save water!
Reduce the time of your showers, closing the tap while you are soaping up or brushing your teeth can help to save at least half of the water you use. Water is the most important resource in the planet, let’s do our part to protect it! Extra tip: if you come across a water leak in public space, you can report it through the Sydney Water website.
7 – Switch off power at the wall
Do you know your TV and appliances in stand-by mode are consuming lots of electricity? Do you know you phone charger consumes electricity even if your phone is not plugged in? it is estimated you can save up to $100 a year switching off power at the wall!
8 – Avoid plastic
Nowadays we are surrounded by plastic. Recycling plastic materials is a very complicated and polluting process so avoiding any plastic material – especially single use plastic items – is the only way to reduce the impact on the environment. There are many alternatives you can find just browsing the Internet!
9 – Recycle your e-waste
The amount of e-waste generated in the world is growing exponentially due to the rapid evolution of technology. The good news is that most of electronic materials are recyclable. Before throwing your old phone or computer in the bin, check online how to dispose of your old technology. For example, click here. The city of Sydney also organises free e-waste drop-off days a few times a year, which you can check on their website or Facebook page.
10 – Be creative with your waste!
Creativity and wellbeing go together! Look at your waste from a different perspective: a damaged coffee cup can become a useful pen-holder for instance!